ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) – Grenada police Tuesday said they were not ruling out the possibility of cross-border criminal activities after a 51-year-old Vincentian man was shot and killed as he sat in his vehicle here on Monday.
The newly-appointed head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Superintendent Esau Pierre told a news conference with regards to the murder of Dexter Chance that “because Grenada has porous borders, one can never eliminate the possibilities and movement of persons connected to the underworld.
“And as such, we will always up our guard … with respect to cross border criminality. With respect to this particular case, we continue our investigations and we will determine where the assailants originated from.
“But our investigations will reveal the information subsequent. But I cannot at this stage venture to say whether it is local or regional, but it is a concern for us where the criminality is imported and like the firearms, firearms are imported,” Pierre told the news conference.
Police said that Chance was shot and killed in Woburn, on the outskirts of the capital, St. George’s and a photograph circulating on social media showed his bloody body in the driver’s seat of the vehicle.
Chance, along with Grenadian Bernard Spann, 46, and Jamaicans Ian White, 53, and Alrick Reynolds, 48, was arrested in August 2019 in connection with the seizure of 40 kilos of cocaine at Dr. Grooms in Point Salines, south of here.
He was denied bail when as the prosecution told the court that they believed that Chance’s arrest had helped in cracking a major drug ring in the Caribbean.
However, in January 2020, he was granted bail, the conditions of which included reporting to police twice weekly, surrendering his travel documents and obtaining permission of the court to leave Grenada.
Chance remained in Grenada after being freed of the charges last July.
“This is a current active case and as such it would be foolhardy of me to venture into any area that may compromise the present investigations,” Pierre said.
In 2011, Chance, along with fellow Vincentians Gareth McDowall and Carlos Sutherland, was extradited to Tortola to stand trial along with three other people in connection with a 2008 drug bust.
The men were charged after the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force said they found 61 kilos of cocaine onboard a chartered catamaran.
The cocaine had an estimated street value of US$1 million.
On July 3, 2012, Chance and the other Vincentians were sentenced to six years in prison for importing drugs into the Virgin Islands.
However, five years later, the Vincentian men were released after the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions for drug importation on the ground that the then judge erred in law in relying on a certificate of analysis not bearing the name of the defendants.
There have been reports here that Chance’s killing could have been linked to the murder of Delvon Thomas, 30, who was shot during the Carnival celebrations here last month.
In the past, the police have made it clear that the murder was unrelated to the island’s Carnival activities and a newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago reported that the killing had been a hit ordered by a notorious gang leader from behind prison walls in Port of Spain that spilled over into neighbouring Grenada.
The newspaper said that the intended target escaped but one man was killed and another injured and that the killers had disappeared without a trace.
“As you know we have made some arrests in this matter, there’s still a large bit of investigation still to be done, we are continuing the investigations, we are not satisfied that all of the participants in this crime have yet been brought to justice or have been arrested and charged and so we continue to work this matter,” said the Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for Crimes, Vannie Curwen.
“We will not rest until we get to the bottom of not only this but all of the outstanding matters that we are currently investigating,” he added.
Pierre said that he has already taken steps to ensure close inter-agency cooperation and that he has spoken with his drug squad counterpart and “so we will be looking at what we can do in order to gel the intelligence and our efforts going forward.
“We do not want to work in isolation of each other … in order to deal with the possibility of the cross-border criminality,” he added
Curwen, however, announced that the police had been able to make breakthroughs in some outstanding murder cases.
He told reporters that seven days after his burial, the authorities have arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with the death of school teacher, Kendon Berkeley, whose lifeless body was discovered at his home in the rural parish of St Andrew on July 14.
In addition, the police have also arrested another man in connection with the death of Troy Daniels, who was shot and killed on the weekend.
Curwen said both suspects will make their first court appearance in court later this week.
He said that another outstanding matter may soon be solved because the Director of Public Prosecution has the file regarding the death of 24-year-old Josiah “Jonty” Robinson, whose body was found on a beach on June 18.
According to local media reports, an autopsy report stated he died from manual strangulation.
“That file has been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecution for his legal opinion, we have not yet settled on this matter, when we do, we will come back to the public and provide an update as to where we are with this matter,” Curwen said.